You Don't Bring Me Flowers

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"You Don't Bring Me Flowers"
Single by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand
from the album Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and You Don't Bring Me Flowers
A-side You Don't Bring Me Flowers (Duet)
B-side You Don't Bring Me Flowers (Instrumental)
Released October 1978
Format 7" single
Genre Easy listening
Length 3:25
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Neil Diamond
Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Producer(s) Bob Gaudio
Barbra Streisand singles chronology
"Prisoner (Love Theme from Eyes of Laura Mars)" "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" "Superman"
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"Desiree" "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" "Forever in Blue Jeans"

"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" is a song that hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. It is a song about two lovers who have drifted apart while they "go through the motions" and heartache of life together.

The song was written by Neil Diamond with Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman for the ill-fated TV show All That Glitters.[1] The song was intended to be the theme song, but Norman Lear changed the concept of the show and the song was no longer appropriate. Diamond then expanded the track from 45 seconds to 3:17, adding instrumental sections and an additional verse. The Bergmans contributed to the song's lyrics.[2]

In 1977, Diamond released the album I'm Glad You're Here with Me Tonight, which included the track "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" as a solo performance. Early in 1978, Barbra Streisand covered the song on her album Songbird.

The roots of the duet version, as chronicled in myriad Streisand and Diamond biographies as well as Streisand's Just for the Record box set, revolve around WAKY-AM/Louisville KY program director, Gary Guthrie, who spliced the two solo tracks together as a going away present to his wife, whom he had just divorced. As the real life fairytale behind the song unfolded, it triggered a media buzz worldwide from Good Morning America and People magazine to the BBC. Interest in the duet caused such a clamor on the retail level that Columbia Records was compelled to bring Streisand and Diamond into the studio to record an "official" version in October 1978. The song reached number one on the Hot 100 chart for two non-consecutive weeks in December 1978, producing the third number-one hit for both singers.[3] Acknowledgment and gratitude for Guthrie came from CBS with a Gold record plaque, flowers from Diamond and a telegram from Streisand. The duo performed the song at the 1980 Grammy Awards show, a performance released on the 1994 album Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume I.[4]

Chicago’s WGN radio personality Roy Leonard and producer Peter Marino are also credited for coming up with the idea to create this duet. Leonard and Marino had put the separately recorded versions together and played them on the air.[5][6]

Radio personalities Jack Hood and Gene Kruszewski of WJR-AM/Detroit also cut a duet version of the song which was a local and regional hit and helped escalate the song’s novelty. Columbia Records granted gold records to Hood and Kruszewski in recognition of their efforts.

Diamond and Streisand had planned to star in a motion picture based on the song, but such plans were canceled when Diamond starred in a remake of The Jazz Singer.

Other versions[edit]

Concurrent with the success of Diamond and Streisand's version of the song, country singers Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius released a country version of the song which reached number ten on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in early 1979. Also, in the same year, Lynda Carter (of the Wonder Woman fame) re-performed this song on the British comedy show, the Dick Emery Hour.

In 1980, a cover version of the song was recorded by expatriate American singer Dean Reed and Hungarian vocalist Kati Kovács in German and in English.[7]

In 1982, Julie Andrews covered the song for her country music inspired-album, Love Me Tender, though it was only included on the international version of the album.

In 1993, UK TV presenter Noel Edmonds was tricked into singing the whole song on his show, Noel's House Party. Noel Edmonds had earlier recorded a duet of the song sung by fellow DJs John Peel and Tony Blackburn for use on his BBC Radio 1 show in 1979.

In 1996, the song was also sung by rappers Ice-T and an embarrassed Tupac Shakur during a Saturday Night Live show. It was also covered in spoken-word form by pianist Liberace.

In 1997. it was parodied by Bob Rivers as "You Don't Smell Like Flowers Anymore".[8]

On an episode of The Steve Harvey Show, Steve and Lydia performed the song during a teacher/student talent show at the school (with Lydia donning a Barbra Streisand wig).

Also notable is Tina Turner's live version performed in a double concert with Tom Jones at the Warner theater 1978.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alan and Marilyn Bergman on Songwriting: Part 1[dead link]
  2. ^ "You Don't Bring Me Flowers". All Music Guide. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  4. ^ "Grammy's Greatest Moments, Volume 1: Various Artists". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  5. ^ Erhlich, Ken. "At The Grammys! Behind the Scenes at Music's Biggest Night". Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  6. ^ Jones, Chris. "Roy Leonard, beloved WGN Radio personality, is dead at 83". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  7. ^ "Dean Reed - You Don't Bring Me Flowers". YouTube. 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  8. ^ http://www.last.fm/music/Bob+Rivers/_/You+Don%27t+Smell+Like+Flowers